Friday, December 30, 2011
On Dec. 22, Eric H. Madison, acting director of the American Institute in Taiwan, announced Taiwan’s candidacy for the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If approved, the program is expected to go into effect in the latter half of next year. Taiwan would join 36 other countries currently approved for the VWP. When the program goes into effect, there will be an immediate financial benefit for Taiwanese travelers to the U.S. Instead of paying $143 for a visa at AIT, travelers only need to pay $14 when completing the online application at Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). It is estimated that 150,000 non-immigrant visas were issued to Taiwanese last year.